The scariest and funniest holiday of the year is about to arrive, and precisely on 31 October. After the stand-by of the pandemic, the desire for fun and light-heartedness, which we had put aside, returns above all. Here, then, are all the curiosities and ideas for a crazy, unique and carefree Halloween.
The clues of a pumpkin, a full moon, scary costumes and lots of trick-or-treaters immediately lead us back to a single, magical place, which is celebrated every year on the night of 31 October, the feast day of which is Halloween.
Considered to be the most popular American holiday, in recent years, it has also been celebrated in the rest of Europe, (and so in Italy), especially among children, but not only; in fact, there are countless adults who try their hand at creating increasingly new and exhilarating masks, alongside unique and original theme parties.
"Halloween is the day when we are reminded that we live in a small corner of light surrounded by the darkness of what we do not know. A small turn outside of perception accustomed to seeing only a certain path, a small glimpse into that darkness."
Halloween is a holiday that would bring everyone together.
But the merriment and light-heartedness that such a festivity has always given rise to in people's minds, and which is now imminent, is unfortunately accompanied by sad news that concerns it, in these very last hours and which it is only right to point out here:
The unbelievable crush of people in the streets and inside a club in the city of Seoul, for the Halloween celebrations, has triggered a real huge massacre, with at the moment a frightening bulletin of as many as 153 dead and thousands missing. Understanding the causes of this tragedy is still too early, if not also difficult to comment on.
OUTSIDERPOST, always tries to give a different point of view from traditional channels, using as much discernment as possible. But such facts are beyond human comprehension, so we can only remain close to the victims and their families. And this is the sentiment we intend to convey in any case, even though it is essential to inform and set people free to think, on every topic discussed here.
But going back to thinking about Halloween and the main reasons in favor of such a holiday, the first of all, certainly stems from the idea that it is outside the classical framework of any other celebration and therefore not politically correct, since:
Those who turn out to be the ugliest, ugliest and weirdest in disguise are for good measure also the most appreciated and loved;
It is a cheap and cool party, in the sense that one can have fun with little and without having to spend a fortune, if one has the right amount of creativity and style to show off;
Halloween, is above all a place, or for many better to say a state in the making, which is realized through joking and through the inclusive concept, where no one is excluded.
Inclusion among people, is therefore the true spirit (or spirit-like) of Halloween, where everyone contributes, feeling part of something unique and out of the so-called classic schemes, far from the classicism of 'nice and good at all costs', bringing lashings of healthy fun and lightness, and far from the real horrors of today's world.
By popular demand, we are therefore re-proposing the TOP LIST of the 10 most hilarious and interesting facts on the subject of 'Halloween' and its meaning, (already presented during the COVID period).
An insider's tip for all OUTSIDERS and future Halloween experts, who are looking to keep their creative and light-hearted spirit of fun alive throughout the year, as all the children of the world already know how to do.
So, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
1# Celtic festival exported to the USA
It was originally a Celtic-pagan end-of-summer festival called Samhain (translated into Old Irish), which influenced Halloween and means All Hallows Eve or All Saints' Day. From the moment it was exported by the Irish and Scots in the mid-19th century to America, the celebration took on a different and exclusively consumerist character.
2# The symbol of the Pumpkin and Jack O' Lantern
The key character of Halloween is undoubtedly Jack O'Lantern. According to Irish folklore, Jack O'Lantern was a miserly and often drunk blacksmith who tricked the Devil three times, who, in turn, since he could not take his soul because he died within 10 years of the covenant, condemned him to wander the world in darkness with only one lantern stick to make light. In his own way, Stingy Jack then made a lantern out of a hollowed-out turnip. Then the turnip became the famous pumpkin that everyone knows, but perhaps less is known about the original pumpkin story.
3# Black cats, bats and night owls
"It is bad luck for black cats to be crossed by a car."
Giordano Bruno Guerri, (Incorrect Thoughts, 2007)
On the night of Samhain, the propitiatory rite to drive away evil spirits included the use of bats, which were effective in driving insects away from the bonfires that were built for the celebration. The same applies to black cats, which, together with bats, have become completely gothic characters since the medieval period, in relation to witches and black magic.
The superstition linked above all to the black cat became a real problem and in recent years a real alarm was raised in defense of felines being used for satanic rituals. Moreover, unlike the ancient Greeks, who considered owls to be sacred and bearers of the wisdom of the goddess Athena, they too are associated with witches or even demons transformed into animals, and this has been the case from the medieval period until the Spanish Inquisition in the late 17th century.
4# The Colossal 'Trick-or-Treat Business'
"Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat."
- English Proverb -
It is only after the end of the Second World War that Halloween became a real colossal business, due to the slogan of "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat", which sees children finally as protagonists, but unfortunately unaware of the devious message that is linked to the immense production of candies and sweets of various kinds, for the simple and furtive consumption of a "single night". YouGovAmerica showed 703 American children aged 8 to 14 a series of matches between candy marketed especially for Halloween and alternative candies and found that the most popular for American children to grab on Halloween night was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, a chocolate candy that won 75.9% of its match-ups. Homemade cookies are also popular, while black licorice is to be avoided at all costs, coming in last on the list of favorites with just 16%.
So it's true that seeing the happiness of a child collecting sweets in their pumpkin is obviously priceless.
5# What frightens us fascinates us
"The oldest and most powerful human emotion is fear, and the oldest and most powerful fear is fear of unknown."
- Howard Phillips Lovecraft -
What happens to our brain when we are frightened is practically a "seesaw of emotions", deriving from the release of hormones such as: insulin, which favors the state of alert and makes the heart beat fast, and endorphin and dopamine, which are capable of bringing out first fear, then excitement and reassurance. But the centre of the brain structure linked to fear is the amygdala, which processes strong emotions and sends them to the frontal lobes, which reassure on the one hand by a rational analysis and on the other by the release of various hormones, some of which have already been expressed above, which synthesize with the emotions of terror and then pleasure and fascination.
6# Horror Film and Pop Corn Marathon
"Vedi, certe cose che succedono lasciano tante tracce di quello che è accaduto. Ma sono tracce che non tutti possono vedere, ma solamente quelle persone che hanno la luccicanza, solo loro."
- Dal film Shining -
An interesting idea for those who dare to spend Halloween night in a terrifying but fun way, is to test all the hormones of fear and excitement and to challenge the dark with others in themed costumes. And to be able to watch horror films together until the end, for an evening of only Horror Cinema and kilos of Pop Corn.
So here are some cult films and TV series on the genre that we recommend to those who "have the guts and courage to sell", to be watched strictly in the dark and in total silence, so as not to ruin the atmosphere of anguish and terror of the moment.
Our Best Horror Movies Ever are:
The Shining; The Exorcist; Psycho; Deep Red; It; Jaws; Bram Stoker's Dracula; Nightmare; The Ring; Scream; Into the Dark (TV series) and Halloween (of course)!
But there are many more, if you can keep your eyes open!
7# Dinner with friends with murder
"My name is Hercule Poirot and I am probably the best detective in the world.”
- Hercule Poirot -
An increasingly popular idea is to create an evening in which unknown actors are sometimes hired to play surprise roles, with the aim of creating a perfect crime, in which all the guests must then find the murderer, following clues, riddles and unexpected events.
There are real agencies now also present in Italy, which organize everything in selected facilities such as restaurants and villas. Perfect for those who want to live a new and entertaining experience.
8# Visiting magical places and villages
As well as staying in a (possibly haunted) castle, which is undoubtedly the most appealing option for those seeking a frighteningly real atmosphere on Halloween night, it is possible to take exploratory 'night-time' tours to places where legends and stories tell of ghosts, witches and curses, transporting us directly into those magical worlds often found only in the books of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King or in popular films.
9# Masquerade party in the villa
“Ehi you, Halloween is over. You can finally take off your mask!”
- Anonymous -
Deciding on a devil, witch, zombie, pumpkin or other costume is fun in itself, but when you find yourself with friends and other people in a villa outside the city, among candles, spider web decorations and atmospheric music, the fun is guaranteed. The success of a good party requires above all a good dose of attention to detail and creativity in the costume chosen, which as well as impressing others, must also tell a story and you must get into character as much as possible.
Not recognizing yourself immediately is the other pleasant surprise and confirmation that the chosen mask has achieved its objective of frightening and surprising.
#10 It is above all a children's party (and not only)
Those who deserve most of all to have fun and recreate a terrifying atmosphere in endless gogo games, are above all children, who after the long pandemic due to Covid19 and the subsequent 'New Normal' rules, have lost a piece of their carefree life and the importance of playing, which is fundamental for a correct psychophysical growth. Getting back to having fun is therefore fundamental, because it is precisely in playing that one relates to others, in which one laughs and makes mistakes and above all gets excited.
So, the recommended activities range from charades, treasure hunts, blindly hitting the piñata to get as many sweets as possible, perhaps ending with a pajama party, with treats like pumpkin and owl muffins covered in chocolate. Adults will also appreciate it, who together with the children, rediscover themselves as children, still able to smile at the ridiculous and monstrous, with a promise to themselves that could be translated as: "to return to having more fun than before, with greater awareness, appreciating what you have, with deep gratitude and at the same time always keeping a light heart", ready for new and unexpected experiences of healthy terror and fun that only Halloween can give".
...And for those left alone on Halloween
No one should be alone on Halloween, but if we don't receive invitations or we're not in the mood for themed parties, we can prepare our own celebration, dedicating a small part of the house to the transformation, buying a pumpkin and putting some sheets with cotton wool everywhere, to recreate at least the ideal creepy and dark atmosphere.
With a blanket and a couch and dressed in at least one seasonal colour, orange, we can prepare a delicious typical Irish cake, called Barm Brack, watching some movies or TV series, and discovering the pleasure of living the Halloween experience in an original way by ourselves, without being afraid of the dark but appreciating the implicit meaning of this holiday, that is to honour the spirits, lighting a candle or burying a pomegranate in the garden so that it can bring good luck and good news for our near future.